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Old 04-14-2019, 10:57 AM   #1
faya
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Default favorite multi-tool?

In 1983 Tim Leatherman was trekking through Europe and found the Swiss Army Knife he was carrying was not quite the right tool for many of the tasks he needed a pocket size tool to perform. When he got home he created his first multi-tool, the Pocket Survival Tool (PST) and created a whole new niche, pocket tools for people who needed the useful accessories more than they needed the knife blade of their pocket knives. For the sake of starting a discussion I'd like to hear some thoughts on what makes and models of multi-tools you all have tried out and which ones you like or dislike and why.

I'll get this discussion started. I discovered multi-tools in the early 1990's and my every day multi-tool has been the same since around 1992 or 1993. Turns out I found one I liked better than the Leatherman PST and that was an early model of the Gerber Multi-Plier. It came with the blunt nose pliers and it is in a nylon pouch with extra screwdriver bits and an adapter to hold the bits that fits over the on-board Phillips screw driver head. It is a long discontinued model. The blades don't lock and I have pinched the meat on the palm of my hand many times when it has slipped off a really tight nut, but I like the pliers that can be deployed single-handedly out the front with a flick of the wrist. It has never failed me, and nothing ever broke on it. Newer models from Gerber have locking blades and you can now get needle nose pliers instead of the blunt nose if you prefer.

Over the years I have also tried numerous generic, store brand multi-tools. More often than not they came from China and were made of unknown steel of unknown quality. Some have worked well. I have, however, snapped off or chipped blades or tools and twisted off driver tips, and generally have found these cheap multi-tools disappointing. I'm not saying they are useless. For under $20 you can buy one of these and leave it in your vehicle and it will always be there if you need it, and if you only get that single use out of it when you needed it then it was worth having. I'm just saying the cheap multi-tools are not likely to be good enough for every day use.

Recently, I acquired my newest multi-tool. It is a Leatherman Super Tool 300. It has 19 tools and I like it very much. I still think the pliers out the front of the Gerber are a great feature, but The Super Tool 300 is a heavy duty tool for tradesmen or professional users, people who really use their multi-tools a lot and rely on them. I haven't even used everything on the Super Tool 300 yet but I'm looking forward to trying out every one of them. Leatherman also offers many models that allow you to open the various knife and tool blades from the outside, without having to open the pliers. I may try one of those eventually, but The Super Tool 300 is cheaper than all of those models with the same tools. If you don't need all of the features of the premium multi-tools you can get the pretty basic Wingman or Sidekick models for much less and they will probably do everything you need, most of the time.
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Old 04-14-2019, 11:42 AM   #2
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Leatherman M.U.T.
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Old 04-14-2019, 12:51 PM   #3
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Leatherman MUT EOD. Bought them as gifts for myself and bestman/groomsmen for my wedding 4 years ago. Have carried it daily since them. Use it at least once daily at range and elsewhere.
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Old 04-14-2019, 03:32 PM   #4
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Got several Leatherman multi-tools. Favorite is the Wave model tat i bought at Costco for $20. It also came with a very nice Leatherman LED flashlight. I think they priced them wrong. I bought 2 sets that day and gave one as gift to a friend.
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Old 04-14-2019, 05:22 PM   #5
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Ive got a number of different multi tools. The one I've carried and trust the most, fencing pliers. Straight up the most useful tool I've ever needed. After that is a SOG powerlock, I carried it while still in the USN as a MM for 5 years. After that is a gerber my grandpa have me over 2 decades ago, I was 5ish and I never left the house without it just like he told me, it's retired for sentimental purposes however it is still heads above the newer crap that gerber puts out. Ive seen the new gerbers break where my SOG was still askin for more, I dont like leathermans, I have 2. They rust, the blades chip, and overall I never saw the oooo's and aaaahhhh's that they were supposed to get.

From left to right, fencing pliers, Sog Powerlock, Gerber, Leatherman Charge Ti (upside down), cheap HDX, cabelas under the HDX, Leatherman Wave, and then Ozark bringin up the ass on the right.

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Old 04-14-2019, 06:46 PM   #6
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Leatherman PST 2 .
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:17 AM   #7
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Leatherman Wave...don't leave home without it!

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Old 04-15-2019, 03:01 AM   #8
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Old Gerber Multiplier for me.
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanakasan View Post
Leatherman Wave...don't leave home without it!

Robert
broke my first about 18-20 years ago, replacement still going strong

accept no substitutes
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Old 04-15-2019, 07:43 AM   #10
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Leatherman all the way.

I like the Wave for “survival” but for work I carry a Skeletool CX. It’s minimal and all I need for a daily... use it quite a bit.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:09 AM   #11
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While Leatherman makes some nice multi-tools, they also support a lot of leftist causes. They used to donate heavily to the Sierra Club, and their anti-offroading efforts.

That being said, I've been gifted a couple of Leatherman multi-tools (and they've held-up well enough), but my favorite is a Gerber that I found in the sub-turret of a tank. It was in rough shape, but I mailed it back to Gerber, and they completely refurbished it, free of charge.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:21 AM   #12
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I carried a Gerber 24/7 in the military.
I never liked Leathermans, and it was either option in the Navy

Now they have so many brands out there that do the samething for less.
I don't carry it 24/7 anymore as really I have no real need for it.

I have SOG, Gerber, DeWalt brand one, that tiny Cabela's one I lost.
I just have no need to carry them anymore. I keep a full tool set in each vehicle.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:29 AM   #13
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I like the leatherman OHT for general light/mid duty use. All of the tools including the seemingly useless scuba tool are very useful. I use it for stripping wires. The pliers are very nice. Downside is that it doesnt accept extra bits and youre limited to flat head and phillips.

My new edc is a leatherman surge. It accepts the bit set, as well as any t-shank jigsaw type blade which I use for cutting copper pipe or drywall as needed. Its a bit bulkier and in my case kinda requires a pouch, but it is what it is.

I still have a MUT EOD and a friend had the regular MUT and I honestly was unimpressed with them. None of the "gun specific" features except for maybe that bronze scraper and the punch are actually useful for anything, and to be honest, I'd rather not have tools like that shackled to a bulbous and awkward multitool like that (a keychain would be better), the seatbelt cutter that's supposedly also for stripping wire is barely usable and the ergonomics when attempting to actually use the pliers as pliers leave a lot to be desired.

It accepts bits, but less well than the surge. When I see and compare all the hype with my actual experience with these tools, it leaves me confused to be perfectly honest. I wouldnt buy either of the MUTs for 50 dollars much less what they charge for them.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:38 AM   #14
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Gerber 600
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:08 PM   #15
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I've got an older Gerber I carried for years, probably got it in the early 90's, its my favorite. No idea on the model. Still works well.

I like Leathermen tools as well, and have a couple different ones, but don't go in for the ones with everything but the kitchen sink.

A nod to the fencing pliers too. They are damned handy and in some ways superior to a the Leatherman type multi tools, like when you need a hammer or pry bar. Always try to keep one handy, as over the years they have gotten me out of some tight situations. Not much when you need a screwdriver though.
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:58 PM   #16
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I have broke the pliers on 3 out the front Gerbers that I have owned. To me, I could never apply the side ways prying force on them without breaking them. Like going under a 16 penny nail and trying to pry it out of wood...SNAP.

My leatherman, I can. I have been carrying a Leatherman now everyday.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:21 PM   #17
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I have broke the pliers on 3 out the front Gerbers that I have owned. To me, I could never apply the side ways prying force on them without breaking them. Like going under a 16 penny nail and trying to pry it out of wood...SNAP.

My leatherman, I can. I have been carrying a Leatherman now everyday.
That's where the fencing tool comes in.
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:14 PM   #18
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I've got an older Gerber I carried for years, probably got it in the early 90's, its my favorite. No idea on the model. Still works well.

I like Leathermen tools as well, and have a couple different ones, but don't go in for the ones with everything but the kitchen sink.

A nod to the fencing pliers too. They are damned handy and in some ways superior to a the Leatherman type multi tools, like when you need a hammer or pry bar. Always try to keep one handy, as over the years they have gotten me out of some tight situations. Not much when you need a screwdriver though.
A little work with a tig would fix the screw driver problem, a 1/4" hex socket on the end of the handle and you can use anything you want no need for a knife on it because I carry one every day
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Old 04-17-2019, 07:26 PM   #19
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I carry a Gerber Mulit-plier 600. It does just fine for my needs, just use every now and then. I'm not rebuilding engines with it or anything. Feels sturdy enough. I like the sheath too. Not bad for nylon/velcro.
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Old 04-17-2019, 09:49 PM   #20
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Leatherman wave is hard to beat in my book..... carry it everyday in my backpack
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Old 04-17-2019, 10:17 PM   #21
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Leatherman ...
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Old 04-19-2019, 03:44 PM   #22
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I have broke the pliers on 3 out the front Gerbers that I have owned. To me, I could never apply the side ways prying force on them without breaking them. Like going under a 16 penny nail and trying to pry it out of wood...SNAP.

My leatherman, I can. I have been carrying a Leatherman now everyday.
^this has been my experience also .
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Old 04-20-2019, 09:13 AM   #23
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Leatherman Surge and Wave, and am looking forward to the Free line Leatherman just put out for sale. The piece is held together by magnets which make one-handed operation possible.
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Old 04-20-2019, 11:09 AM   #24
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That Free series looks interesting. My trusty old Waves can be wrist flicked open. They work just fine but maybe time for another one!

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Old 04-20-2019, 03:00 PM   #25
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Quote:
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That's where the fencing tool comes in.
LOl, yeah I know, but it's hard to carry them in my pants pocket.


I have done the same thing with a Leatherman, with no problems.


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Old 04-20-2019, 11:44 PM   #26
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I have the surge, a little large but it's good to go. I also have fencing pliers and they are awesome.
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Old 04-21-2019, 09:03 AM   #27
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SuperTool 300 is my go to!
420HC Stainless Steel, 154CM Black Oxide
9.6 oz

They are certainly a serviceman's friend I use it multiple times a day and always reaching for it when I don’t wear it. Leatherman TAKES CARE of its customers 100%. You get a piece of crap on the blade they will replace it, have it spit shined, oiled and sent back. They even sent me a new one when I was joking about having one fixed without having a back up....or it was an accident???
They have a no questions asked warranty.
I use em hard. After a few hundred openings and a little bit of oil I open it up like a butterfly knife. Its a sight to see lol when Im hanging over some pool coping and whip it out to tighten a light screw.

I bought my help the Milspec Gerbers for stocking stuffers and they seem to be holding up well for them I will check back later on their performance and longevity.
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Old 04-21-2019, 11:13 AM   #28
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Leatherman Wave is my favorite of all the ones that I own.
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Old 04-21-2019, 02:55 PM   #29
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I like scissors on my multi-tools .
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Old 04-21-2019, 09:15 PM   #30
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I have daily carried Leathermens for decades. Currently a Wave that has been on my belt for over 10 yrs and still going strong. It is so loose now I can flick it open just as fast as flicking out the Gerber's pliers.

Was issued various Gerbers in the Marines but the fat nose on the pliers didn't fit into the spanner rings on comm gear so they just got thrown in a drawer.
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Old 04-21-2019, 11:02 PM   #31
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Leatherman Wave is my favorite of all the ones that I own.
Yep.

I like that you have instant access to the (2) blades, saw and file w/o opening the whole thing. The rounded grips are comfortable as well.

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Old 04-22-2019, 12:19 AM   #32
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Leatherman PST for years and years, nowadays a Leatherman Wave...'bout it.
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Old 04-22-2019, 05:13 PM   #33
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Quote:
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I like scissors on my multi-tools .
agreed.

I use the Gerber Diesel for everyday use, but that Mut is great for the gun range
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Old 04-23-2019, 01:15 AM   #34
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Have a 25 year old or so Gerber that's in a tackle box .
For real work i prefer actual tools, they are simply to light duty
and are as jack of all trades deal to me.
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